The focus at Waking Girl Web Design is to 1) Wake up your website and 2) Wake up your business. Usually we have to also 3) Wake up your customers. There's nothing like a good old-fashioned menu bar to lull an Internet Junkie to sleep: Home, Services, About Us, Cont--zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. We utilize a navigation structure that is jarring, intriguing and sometimes alarming. Why? Because it wakes people up.
This is wild, tell me more!
Now, nobody will wake up if they don't get to your website, so we also have to 4) Consider the Google gods. Google occasionally relies on a good old-fashioned menu bar, but Google also looks for key words in your links. No one is doing a Google Search for "home services about us contact." No one (ok, except us--the search brought up a broad bit of nothing). What ARE people searching for?
YOUR COMPANY NAME instead of Home
ACTION WORD instead of Services
INTRIGUING WORD instead of About
or YOUR CALL TO ACTION instead of all of the above
and Contact is just fine :) [or Connect, Reach Out, Engage, Talk]
When we first started building websites (in the 1990s) the human brain could handle 4 to 6 choices at a time. We fought hard to keep our websites' navigations in that 6 or fewer framework. Now, our brains have gotten OVERWHELMED with the constant incoming media, and are pleased with 1, 2 or 3 choices.
I talk to clients daily who want to complicate their websites, while the big tech companies are getting sleeker. I was shocked and validated the first time I used Square Cash and had 0 options. All I could do was follow their little maze of forms and buttons. There were no choices. There was only moving forward in their chosen path. And I trusted the process and sent money through their brilliant email-only system seconds later.
The future is now. Customers trust the web more today than ever before. They don't need to read 17 pages to determine if they're going to buy your product or schedule an appointment. They need to see a handful of reviews, and then you have to open the door and make it easy: one intuitive non-choice at a time.
But people have asked for my About page!
Great! Ok, we can still have tons of content, and that can include your pithy bio. Let's create a hidden blog page that runs in the background of your site, spitting out content when it's called on through a Google Search or from the depths of the Inner Virgo of your website.
Hrmm, that seems anti-climactic when you give me what I want. Why does this feel odd?
Because what you really want is not an About Me page. You want an ABOUT YOU page. That's right! The business owner should be asking about the NEW CLIENT, not spouting out hobbies, facts, and degrees.
Wanna know the number one thing that makes someone decide to BUY from you?
Not your service description, not your logo, not your pricing*, and certainly not your About page. It's your ability to listen and validate the needs of your customer base that will make them call you, email you, text you, Facebook you, want you, need you, review you.
So you may have an industry where an About Us page is somehow validating to the customer, but I'm seeing higher conversions on pages that engage the customer and demonstrate that the customer is in the right place, and that you can help them.
But don't they need to know my certifications and history to know that?
No. Your certifications and history just tell us that you went to school and that you may have dabbled in something important once. We don't want your history, we want your NOW. Business trends change every 3 months; we don't care what you did 3 years ago. Are you #validating NOW?
How to demonstrate validation on your website:
Is your customer in pain? Imagine how much more pain they'll be in after reading mountains of information. Make it easy; they're in pain!
Is your customer in panic? Give them the call to action RIGHT THERE and EVERYWHERE.
Is your customer a busy parent? Make it easy to come back to your information later with an email reminder or Facebook notice.
Is your customer a business owner? Give them the prices and a phone number that is answered EVERY time.
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